GOOD NEWS & BAD
Benjamin Button the documentary?
It is becoming increasingly obvious that Brad Pitt does not age. He is hotter than ever.
This is Awkward.
While this is great news for our eyes, the unfortunate news is that this is one area we simply cannot explain to you all. Sadly, there is no "wellness" answer, explanation, or recommendation for his relentless good looks.
There's Hope Yet
But if I did just see 8 Mile performed, and Cats get ripped a new one by all of Hollywood, then I guess anything is possible. Ditch the research, cross your fingers and feast your eyes on Brad in the process 🤷🏼♀️?
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Cash rules everything around me
Let’s talk about financial wellness. Although you might not need a yoga mat for this wellness category, it's certainly an underrated part of holistic wellbeing. So what is it? According to Forbes, financial wellness means “your debts are payable and you have ample emergency, college, and retirement funds. You’re well prepared to handle any financial crisis.” Basically, it means feeling good about where you are financially and where you are going.
With my mind on my money and my money on my mind
Snoop Dogg wasn’t kidding. Financial wellness can have a major impact on the mind, body, and health. Think of it this way, when your finances are not in a good place, you’re stressed AF. When you’re stressed AF your cortisol levels are through the roof and can lead to all sorts of issues like poor sleep, sugar and carb cravings, emotional eating, and loss of appetite aka feeling UNWELL!
Do what makes cents for you
According to Nicole Lapin, the author of Rich Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan for Getting Your Financial Life Together, some of the most common financial mistakes you can make include not joining the conversation and understanding the language of money, not sticking to a spending plan, and overindulging. So say sayonara retail therapy at Zara :( Looking for other tips to take control of your finances? You can check out Lapin’s Money School, which expands on the concepts mentioned in her book.
SUGAR MAMA NO MORE
Pass the Splenda
Clocking in at zero calories, there are two main groups of sugar substitutes: Those derived from plant extracts, and those processed from chemical synthesis aka artificial sweeteners. Right now there are five FDA approved artificial sweeteners, and you will spot them on ingredient lists in products marked "diet," "low-calorie" and "lite." They include saccharin (Sweet N' Low), acesulfame (Sunett, Sweet One), aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), neotame (Newtame) and sucralose (Splenda). The FDA has also approved Stevia (Truvia), which is an example of a plant-derived sweetener that has been created with a leaf extract that grows in South America.
Just a spoonful of sugar
Here’s what you should know. Stevia is not only FDA approved (meaning it can be used and marketed in food products in the US), but also approved in numerous, much stricter, countries, like Europe and even Japan, where artificial sweetener has been banned for over 50 years! Furthermore, the data surrounding Stevia extract to-date has been primarily positive, however, there’s not a ton of data. This leads us to the potential cons of this plant-based questionably “too-good-to-be-true” sweetener.
Sugar-free, but at what cost?
In theory, Stevia might be more natural than synthesized artificial sweeteners, due to its plant-based roots, but even Stevia is still processed in a lab, making the “natural” title up for debate. Whether it’s Stevia or Splenda, there is ongoing controversy over whether artificial sweetener usage poses health risks due to any real long-term evidence.
The science of sweetness
So what should we consider when deciding? We’ve boiled it down to three key categories: Cancer, weight, and gut health. Studies (although limited) do not suggest that Stevia can cause or contribute to cancer development. Some even suggest that because the Stevia plant contains phytochemicals that act as antioxidants, these could help in preventing cancer. As for bodyweight, it should be a no brainer that swapping calories from sugar with a non-caloric sweetener should aid in weight loss. Duh. But this research is surprisingly less clear-cut. Some research suggests (again, limited...sensing a trend?) that low-calorie sweeteners, whether plant-based or artificial, can still increase appetite, sweet cravings, and overall food intake much like its counterpart, sugar. Lastly, how low-calorie sweeteners affect good gut bacteria is an even newer area where we have the least knowledge...so basically TBD.
FEELING GOOD AS HELL
Good Vibes Only
Maybe you're familiar with body positivity in the form of Instagram comments, whether that’s a Dove soap ad or a Lizzo quote. Popular body positivity practices tell us that we should love ourselves and our bodies, no matter what the shape and size. While it might feel like body positivity got its start, like yesterday, it actually dates back to 1851?! The oldest roots started with the Victorian Dress Reform Movement that advocated for the acceptance of women’s natural bodies and discouraged women against wearing corsets to fit an ideal (and unrealistic) beauty standard. This movement also argued for women’s right to wear pants, and our sweatpant-loving-self solutes you!! We recommend you check out this article for more on the evolution of the body positivity movement, and how it transformed in the 1960s to end fat-shaming.
But are all these good body vibes really the answer?
While the body positivity message is intended to help people feel better about themselves, it isn’t without its skeptics. Critics say it’s dangerous to love and accept your body if you're unhealthy. This idea has caused a ton of pop-culture tension recently, when Jillian Michaels called out Lizzo for celebrating her body and basically said, it’s dangerous how overweight you are and you need to lose weight to live a long and healthy life.
Don’t force it
From this, a new concept called body kindness has recently emerged. The biggest difference between body positivity and kindness is that it advocates loving yourself no matter what shape and size you are WHILE ALSO being kind to your body and actually wanting what’s best for it (we talked way more about it on this blog post). For example, physical movement, nutritious food, and in some cases shedding extra weight not because you want to be skinny by society’s standards but because you love yourself to be in your body as long as possible.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
We're excited that people are finally beginning to realize that beauty isn’t about one definition, it’s about infinite possibilities. Whether its body positivity or body kindness that floats your boat (or you still see them as one and the same), we've barely grazed the surface of actually internalizing our bodies, given that for literal centuries we’ve been told we must look a certain way to be "beautiful."
Check yourself before you wreck yourself
If you ask us though, we are absolutely positive that kindness (in almost all areas of life) is always the answer. After all, if you could choose between spending your time consumed by self-deprecation, self-consciousness, and self-loathing, or feeling confident, exuberant, and grateful, which would you choose? There should be less value on our physical appearance and more value on our health, unique beauty, and individual identity so we "can use [our] vital resources of time, energy, and intellect to make positive changes in [our] own lives and in the world." - Elizabeth Scott